Interfacing Linux: Behringer FCA202

In 2007 Behringer released the FCA202, a budget interface for home recording. It’s a basic little brick with two inputs and two outputs and not much else. Well, it’s 2020 and we need to find out if it ever figured out how to Linux.


Tech specs:

Converters 24-bit, Delta Sigma
Sample Rates 44.1, 48 and 96kHz
Analog Input 2 x 1/4″ TS phone
Analog Output 2 x 1/4″ TRS phone
1 x 1/4″TRS phone Headphone
Digital Input No
Digital Output No
MIDI In/Out No
Sync In/Out No
Headphone Output Yes
THD + N 0.01% typical @ -10dBV, 1kHz
Dynamic Range Not specified by manufacturer
Frequency Response 10Hz to 21kHz, +/-1dB @ 44.1kHz
10Hz to 45kHz, +/-1dB @ 96kHz
Dimensions (WxDxH) 6.1 x 4.53 x 1.1″ (155 x 115 x 28 mm)
Weight 0.88 lbs (0.4 kg)

Jackbox: Testing setup

CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700
RAM Corsair LPX 16GB
Motherboard MSI B350 Tomahawk
GPU Nvidia Quadro 4000
SSD Samsung 840
PSU: EVGA 600 B1
Firewire: Syba SY-PEX30016
Network: Intel i350-T4
OS: Debian Buster
Kernel: 5.4.47-rt
Desktop: XFCE 4.12

Pulseaudio: Behringer FCA202 immediately recognized by ALSA and Pulseaudio.


ALSA: Settings exposed via alsamixer.


Jack: Connects using the drivers provided by FFADO.


Disable ALSA firewire drivers: If you don’t want ALSA or Pulseaudio to see the device you can disable it with the following.

Create the file alsa-nope.conf in /etc/modprobe.d/ and add the following. Reboot.

blacklist snd-oxfw

Behringer FCA202: Round-trip latency @44100 HZ


Behringer FCA202: Round-trip latency @48000 HZ


Behringer FCA202: Round-trip latency @96000 HZ


Verdict:
It does what is says on the tin, just. However, the FCA202 needs to use ALSA drivers for recording since FFADO drivers generate pops and clicks. That doesn’t sound like much of an issue until you initialize the jack pulseaudio bridge. Yeah, it’s going to get busy with the xruns. Switching to the FFADO drivers eliminates the xruns but you’re going to be constantly swapping the drivers if you plan on using the FCA202 as a sound card & interface on the same system.


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Behringer FCA202

$15.00
3.5

Works out of the box

4.5/5

Ease of setup

3.5/5

Stability

3.5/5

Features

2.5/5

Works

  • ALSA support
  • Pulseaudio support
  • Bus powered
  • Acceptable AD conversion

Nopes

  • Bad FFADO drivers
  • Unbalanced inputs
  • Limited to 96K
  • Pulseaudio bridge issues with ALSA
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